Sailboat Refit Pt 1: Introduction

The first in a series of articles on Esper’s complete refit in Thailand, originally written for Sailing Today magazine. We are reproducing the original articles on FTB complete with new photographs… Remaining on a pontoon in India for two years, despite basic servicing and upkeep, had led to some general deterioration of our boat. But for SY Esper to stand a chance of completing a passage to South Africa, she needed to be in the best possible shape. So we spent a full season planning, servicing and preparing.

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Boat Refit: One year in two minutes

We undertook a complete refit of SY Esper in 2014. We were told it would take three months, BUT we knew it would probably be six months. Pretty soon nine months seemed optimistic, then as we kept adding new jobs we reached a year! In February 2015 we left PSS Shipyard with what was almost a brand new boat. Here’s the whole refit squished down to a couple of minutes.

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Esper – Post Refit First Look

Esper from above

As you can imagine, when we dropped the hook in Bass Harbour, Langkawi, 25 miles away from PSS Shipyard, we did absolutely nothing for a whole week. It was bliss.

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Esper Refit 46 – Christmas Special

Muslim girls at a Burmese wedding

As Christmas approaches we are inundated with rain, rain and more rain. It’s just like being back in the UK! We still had fun, attending a Burmese wedding and rehousing some little animals.

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Esper Refit 35 – PSS Dripless Seal; LED Dimmer

where the shaft enters into the boat

Dang the varnisher’s back, as are the electricians. The sparkies have finally installed the LED dimmer switch and it looks good. Dang is preparing the boat for its last coat of varnishing whilst I remove the old stuffing box in preparation for the new PSS Dripless Seal.

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Esper Refit 33 – boat catches fire; redrilling deck fittings;

Fishing boat catches fire at Chebilang, Thailand

This week has probably been the most eventful to date, and I’m not just talking about Esper’s progress. On Wednesday half of Chebilang turned out to watch a fishing boat burn right down to its hull, whilst a ferry bottoms out when being jacked up on a cradle. Other breakages include feet and motorbikes.

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Esper Refit 31 – shaft crevice corrosion

Removing a Maxprop from the shaft Esper

Bad news this week as we inspect our shaft, which has some corrosion. We turn to Vyv Cox of Coxengineering to find out how and why this has happened. Meanwhile we attempt to offer the swimming platform up to the transom, only to find it is a little too big.

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